A brand new panorama of Pluto has the scientific world buzzing.
An amazing new picture of Pluto shows the proto-planet in all its glory.
The photo shows the dwarf planet wrapped in a glowing crescent, a much bigger image than the partial backlit panorama released back in mid September, according to a CNET report.
The photos were taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, which conducted a flyby of Pluto back in mid July.
Scientists have been working hard on the photo, and finally released it on Thursday. It was certainly worth the wait: the entire planet can be seen with a glowing crescent, an amazing image not seen before.
The image was snapped 15 minutes after New Horizons was at its closest to Pluto.
The spectacular images keep coming from New Horizons, which has been a huge success for NASA after being launched a decade ago. New Horizons is continuing to send its data back from the July flyby, even as it heads out of the solar system. So expect many more images and findings about the former ninth planet from the sun, which was reclassified as a dwarf planet years ago.
The crescent is more than just the sunlight bouncing off the surface of Pluto — it also depicts the atmosphere of the dwarf planet, which you can see by the fuzzy parts of the image. Pluto’s atmosphere isn’t as thick as ours, but it has one.
New Horizons is currently headed for the Kuiper Belt, and will take a close look at an object called 2014 MU69 for its next mission. It will continue to send back its Pluto data in the meantime.